Fonds 2006.5 - Prince George Women's Organizations Collection

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Prince George Women's Organizations Collection

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Level of description

Fonds

Reference code

2006.5

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1972 - 1996 (Creation)
    Creator
    Prince George Women's Organizations

Physical description area

Physical description

5.7 m of textual records

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1972-1996)

Administrative history

In the fall of 1972, the Prince George Women’s Centre was created, and this began a legacy of women’s centres in Prince George. It began when a group of women, after being involved with the local production of the play “Lysistrata," decided that Prince George needed a women’s centre. Although it was involved in other activities, the main goal of the Prince George Women’s Centre was to develop a transition home for women and their children who needed shelter for whatever reason. This goal was realized in 1974, with the opening of the Phoenix Transition House. However, due to a changing focus and a stronger political and feminist position, the Prince George Women’s Centre faced internal upheaval, which resulted in a name change taking place in September of 1976. The group was now called the Prince George Women’s Collective.

A main focus of The Prince George Women’s Collective was its counseling and referral services. The Prince George Women’s Collective lasted until January of 1978, when controversy regarding the firing of two employees proved to bring about denigration of the group's status, both internally and with the public in general. Thus, the members of the Prince George Women’s Centre voted to dissolve the organization, and replace it with the Prince George Women’s Equal Rights Association (known commonly as WERA) in January of 1978.

While the changeover was taking place, further financial scandal marred the Collective’s name. WERA set out to distance itself from the Collective, and to focus on educating the public on women’s issues. To that end, research and lobbying were a central focus. WERA was notably not a resource centre, but instead its main focus of education led to the production of a newsletter for women of northern British Columbia, by women of northern British Columbia. This they accomplished, and the result was ‘Aspen,' a publication which ran until 1983. WERA shut its doors in June of 1983 due to a combination of financial pressures and volunteer burn-out. Right at the time that WERA was closing down, however, another group was springing up with the intention of filling the need for a resource centre for women in Prince George.

The Prince George Women’s Resource Centre opened their doors officially on September 1, 1983, and served the community for many years. Similar to the Women’s Centre and the Women’s Collective, the Prince George Women’s Resource Centre was very service-oriented, and less politically oriented. The exact reason for the centre's closure is unclear; however, the evidence suggests that it lasted until some time in 1987, when federal money dried up and the centre was no longer able to provide its services to the women in Prince George.

Following the Prince George Women's Resource Centre, another group opened an office on George Street called the Prince George Women's Connection. The only records contained in this collection regarding the Women's Connection are in the form of brochures and advertisements sent to them. Because the collection does not include many of the Women's Connection records, extensive research was not undertaken in regards to their history.

Scope and content

Collection consists of records created, received, and collected by the Prince George Women's Centre, the Prince George Women's Collective, the Prince George Women's Equal Rights Association, the Prince George Women's Resource Centre, and the Prince George Women's Connection. This collection also features some materials on the Daughters of Lilith organization.

Notes area

Arrangement

Although the files were not in complete alphabetic order, it was determined that originally the majority of the information was kept in alphabetic order. Thus, where possible, alphabetical order has been recreated.

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Script of material

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Restrictions on access

Some files and research materials (interviews) may contain personal or confidential information. Access to these files may be restricted as stipulated by Archives policy, or the research participants. Consult archivist for research access.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

Item-level inventory

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General note

It appears that the files were passed on successively from each of the women's organisations, beginning with the Prince George Women's Centre and ending with the Prince George Women's Connection. Because of this, it was difficult to determine which textual records were created by which organisation. Thus, they are being kept as a whole collection though they contain administrative histories of four different organisations. The majority of the records relate to the Prince George Women's Resource Centre. As well, due to the fact that the provenance proved so confusing, research was undertaken in the form of interviews and literature searches. This information can also be found at the Northern BC Archives as part of an in-house collection.

Physical description

Includes 20 posters

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